The 2023 Oscars started off on an emotional high Sunday night (March 12) when filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and company won the Best Animated Feature Oscar for Pinocchio.
“Animation is cinema,” del Toro said during his acceptance speech. “Animation is not a genre. Animation is ready to be taken to the next step. We are all ready for it. Please help us keep animation in the conversation. I would like to thank Netflix and [CEO] Ted Sarandos for sustaining his faith to make this movie. I want to dedicate this to the love of my life, my wife Kim, my kids, and my mom and pop [who] are not here anymore, but they are here with me. I am your son, and I love you.”
Since introducing his version of Pinocchio to the world, del Toro has been vocal about how integral his mother, Guadalupe del Toro, was to him creating the animated movie. Guadalupe del Toro died one day before the world premiere of the film last October.
“I saw [the 1940 Disney] film as a kid, and it’s a film that bonded me with my mom for an entire life,” he said when he announced her death at the BFI London Film Festival.
For many, it was an emotional touchstone that started the 2023 Oscars.
Backstage at the Oscars, del Toro reiterated the news he announced late last year about extending a scholarship for animators in Mexico in honor of his mother.
Del Toro believes his Oscar win will help the Mexican animators expand production of more stop-motion films in his home country. “It will help us implement more movement in the community in Mexico and in Latin America to keep pushing for stop motion, which is one of the most democratic forms of animation,” he said. “A kid with a camera and a model in their room, they can do animation.”
Watch as Guillermo del Toro and Director Mark Gustafson accept their award at the 2023 Oscars below.